Another Piece On Pieces

One of my little rules of thumb for this site is that, if I’m writing a comment that seems blog post length (whether here or abroad), then it no doubt should be a blog post.  On this I have an easier time writing in the blog format over the comments.  Thus was my thought when trying to respond to a recent commenter, and thus this post was born.

The commenter in question is one VivaHST, and the post in discussion is my rather harsh (and out-of-patience) review of Mil gritos tiene la noche/Pieces.  I’m reprinting the comment here, replying piecemeal as I go.  I’ve done some mild editing to what VivaHST has said (language, for instance, and adding a few bolds that were not in the original).  For the curious (and those who want to make sure Mr. Waters isn’t fiddlin’ with his guest’s words too much) you can check out the unaltered post here.

Both VivaHST and I produce spoilers for Pieces and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  The former is hit harder than the latter, for the record.

That said, let’s begin:

You missed the point and probably fast forwarded through the funniest bits.

I think the point of Pieces was watching the deaths of various women.

Pieces is a bad movie, but it is so bad that it is great. Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre are great films and far better slasher movies, but Pieces is funner. To compare them would be like comparing 2001:  A Space Odyssey to Plan 9  From Outer Space.

Humor is an extremely subjective thing, especially when talking bad movies.  One viewer’s Blood Freak is another’s Manos: The Hand of Fate.  Just because I happened to like Blood Freak doesn’t mean you will.

As for the rest of this point, depending on the intent of the film makers, you might be right and my particular comparison might not be valid.  That’s a case-by-case basis, and I will confess that when I re-review Pieces (more on this later) I’ll try to do a bit more research on the matter.

Still, the post references Chainsaw in it.  It’s begging for the comparison, and honestly?  It shouldn’t have.

Did you catch the scene where the undercover cop is being perused by the killer only to have a “Kung-Fu professor” jump out and attack her, only to blame “bad chop suey?”

Yep.  Hard to miss even zipping through.  One of the times I went through the movie (and I’ve fast forwarded through Pieces multiple times, sad to say), I did at one point stop to watch the scene.  Just to see what the hell was going on.

I didn’t find it remotely humorous.  But, again, that’s relative.

Or the amazing way the undercover cop screams “Bastard!” after finding the body of the girl who wet herself. Or the soon-to-be-a-victim say “The most beautiful thing in the world is smoking pot and fucking on a waterbed at the same time!” Those are nuggets of B movie gold.

Again, to each viewer their own.

And don’t give me this misogynistic trip. Does the movie portray women in a positive light? No. Are the men seen in a better light? Not really.

The misogynistic comment covered Slasher movie in general, even the few ones I like.  When the majority of victims are women who just happened to have had sex/taken a shower/chased clothes/ran around naked for no real reason, it’s hard not to see it in a negative light.

Am I right?  Am I wrong?  I can’t say.  What I can say is that Pieces has a poor out look on humanity in general doesn’t excuse its flaws.

The women are mostly slutty bimbos (see: 90% of horror) but the men are : A) the killer, B) a dumb brute of a groundskeeper C) dumb slutty college kids, or D) a homosexual professor and red herring a little too into the skulls on his desk.

As much as I love seeing a variation of Sturgeon’s Law, you’re wrong.  90% of Slasher movies might have slutty bimbos in it.  I wouldn’t want to stand one way or the other on the matter.

But not Horror.  I defy you to find one in Nosferatu (1922), for instance, or, for a more modern example, Alien or Ring.  There’s a lot more, but this is a rambling post as is, so we’re now moving on as if I made my point.

The two main characters are the only ones with “depth” and he propositions her and she turns him down. See, not all women in this movie are sex craving sluts. Even though I am sure she might regret the whole “not now, but maybe we will **** later” thing after a corpse/zombie/thing rips his junk off.

I never once said all the women were sex crave sluts, as a complaint or otherwise.  Not once.

Castigate me for the sins I have, please, and not for those made up.  There are plenty of the former, making the latter unnecessary.  Believe me

Why did you even post this review? It is clear you did not watch the whole thing since watching a movie on fast forward is as productive as reviewing a movie based on the trailer and movie poster.

I’d argue that it’s more productive, because at least with fast forwarding you get a sense of the film as a whole.  With a poster and a trailer you get, at best, the most “positive” elements of a film.

However, I think you have a point, which I’ll get to at the end of this.  Assuming this ever does end.

It would be like me reviewing a concert and writing about how I had explosive diarrhea and spent the whole show in the bathroom. “Boy, did the band sound horrible through the bathroom wall.” Nobody gives a ****. Either watch the whole movie or keep your opinion to yourself.

Very colorful.  And, sadly, utterly wrong.  I could have watched, say, the first fifteen minutes of the film (or even the first five), said “This film is crap” and been completely in my rights to post that and that alone on the subject.  I am in no way obligated to give Pieces or any other crap film even as much a chance as I did give it.

It’s true.  I double checked my opinionated ass license and everything.

Don’t like it?  Tough kitties.  I’ll run this blog as I see fit, thank you very much.

I am a huge fan of horror, but I fast forward through Texas Chainsaw Massacre a lot more than Pieces. Leatherface’s chase of Sally goes on way too long.

A snottier Horror fan than I might have tossed your whole comment out for this bit alone.  Huge horror fan?  Dissing Chainsaw?  THE Chainsaw?

But as I recall it Sally makes two escapes from the house that are pretty much the same, down to which window she escapes from.  So too long might well a fair cop.

If you’re enjoying yourself, you watch the film.  If you’re not, you do things like fast forwarding through the film.  You didn’t enjoy that section of Chainsaw.  I didn’t like… anything about Pieces.  It’s damn near the same principle.

Also?  If being a huge horror fan mattered a jot, wouldn’t that work in my defense, too?  I’m a huge Horror fan myself, after all.

All of this said and done, the main point is that this is not a review blog.  It’s just a blog that on rare occasions does reviews.  I have never presented it as anything other than that, nor have I pointed to the review in question as far as I can recall.  The reviews here tend towards the pithy even when I’m madly in love with the film.  It’s become the standard, as it were.

Speaking of standards, in the three years I’ve done this blog, I have, in fact, gone back to a film I fast forwarded through and watched it straight forward and found I liked it.  That film was Cathy’s Curse, and I even published a retraction here.

Were you to click on the retraction (and you don’t have to, really) you’d see that in the three years since the Pieces review came out, I have started a new blog, called Welltun Cares Reviews.  One of the rules over there is that I do not post reviews of movies I just fast forward through.  In fact, you’ll be happy to know that for that site I sit though every wretched mind numbing God damn second a film possesses.

Now, I don’t know where my copy of Pieces ran off to.  No doubt its off in some dark corner of my house crying about how mean I was to it, poor dear.  However, if I find it, or, God forbid, if it pops up on Netflix instant queue or Hulu, I will more or less on the spot start a review for it over at WCR.

If it turns out in any way, shape, or form better than I remember it being, I will publish a similar retraction as I did for Cathy’s Curse.  More, I’ll make the retraction a sticky post and keep it up on the main page for thirty days.  A better offer than that you will not get.

In any case, I mean no disrespect in this post.  While the comment has its irritations for me, I am glad to have receive it.


6 Replies to “Another Piece On Pieces”

  1. Thank you for the response. I will check out your new blog as well. Also, please forgive the harshness of my comment. I just haven’t seen that much on the web about Pieces and most I do see are either idiotic fanboy posts that lack depth or negative dismissals like yours. My main issue was that you fast forwarded through it.

    Now for my response to your response:

    First, yes I realize humor is subjective. The fact that someone in this country probably laughed at Zookeeper is proof of that. You may watch the same scenes from Pieces that crack me up and not even have the hint of a smile cross your face. I just love the movie because it is so bad and random at times, but you can tell that they were not trying to make a “so bad its good” b movie like Troma did. The “filmmakers” were trying to churn out another cheap slasher to capitalize on the early 80s slasher boom.

    Second, I admit I am guilty of reading into your misogynistic comment too much. I am also guilty of using the word horror when I meant slasher. My bad. Is Pieces misogynistic? Without question. That never bothered me though. Slasher movies are about killers who brutally kill a bunch of typically young and beautiful people, and women tend to get targeted more than men. There are two reasons for this in my mind:
    A) the psychology of the kind of person who would do these acts in real life would be similar to that of a serial killer. Most serial killers are not keen on feminist ideals to say the least.
    B) the majority of slasher movie fans are men (and boys) and tend to be, I would guess, undersexed. Much like most comic book fans. Therefore showing a bunch of topless women is an added draw for these kids. When I watch horror and slasher movies now I am looking for a good story, good atmosphere or just simple entertainment. However, I will admit to looking forward to the sex scenes when I was 12 and watching the Friday the 13th movies for the first time.

    Third, I stand by my statement on Chainsaw. I love that movie dearly. The only horror movies I would rank higher than Chainsaw would be Halloween and Dawn of the Dead. The originals, of course. However, after Leatherface kills Franklin (the only cripple character in a movie I can think of that I feel no sympathy to) Sally runs through the woods, then more woods, then a field. Then she comes to the happy home and I normally resume play at this point. She runs upstairs, finds Grandpa and the corpse of (grandma?) and runs back down. Leatherface, who either forgot his keys or was never given his own copy, cuts his way in so she jumps through the window and runs through the woods. Again. After ten minutes of chase she finally gets to the gas station and the movie resumes in full for me.

    Fourth, let me quickly go back to your comment on the girl pissing herself. I love that bit, even though it isn’t what I would want to watch. I felt like it was suddenly a little bit of realism thrown in. I cannot think of another slasher movie kill that had that happen, but if I was coming through a door at you with a chainsaw with the intention of killing you and you knew that you were very likely to die, you might loose control of your bladder. My only issue with it is that it should have been in another movie. It is out of place in a movie with kung fu professors and a bimbo victim not being able to escape a pool cleaning net. That kill would have worked better in a hyper-realistic slasher movie.

    Finally, let me say that it is your blog and you can do whatever you like. You can even review movies you have never seen if you feel like it. I just feel movies should be given a full chance. Words cannot convey my anger when a professional critic walks out of a movie half way through and proclaims that it sucked. However, this is just a blog you do when you feel like it. I get that, and I respect that.

  2. Again, I’ll be giving it another look whenever I can either find my copy or get an access to another. No guarantees that I’ll like it once I do, though. The resulting review may well be harsher than the one already given.

    It sure as hell will be longer.

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